Getting Involved Outside Your Day Job

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Annie Kraft, Communications Co-Chair 2014-2016

Ever since I joined YNPN Chicago’s Executive Board as a Communications Co-Chair in September 2014, I have met so many people who are involved outside of their regular 9-to-5 jobs. From skills-based volunteering to networking events, there are a myriad of opportunities for those seeking to meet new people and develop skills in the nonprofit and public interest sectors. I reached out to some of YNPN Chicago’s members to learn more about what they do outside of work!

hilary hodge“I serve as chair of the Board of Directors of 826CHI, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. It’s a truly amazing organization that serves over 2,500 students annually. I am drawn to this work due a deep passion for reading and writing. I genuinely believe, in Joan Didion’s words, that we tell ourselves stories in order to live.” -Hilary Hodge


bridget gamble“I’ve known since childhood that writing is my thing. It’s the way I process and communicate best. Outside of work, I write whenever possible for a local weekly magazine—art reviews, neighborhood stories, and the like. Writing for myself feels revitalizing when I spend so much time writing professionally in other voices for a range of audiences.” -Bridget Gamble



eric rubio“For the last three years, I have been a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Overture Council and now serve as Communication Chair.  In this role, I am able to apply the marketing and communications skills I have developed professionally. My involvement with the CSO Overture Council strengthens my professional and social network and gives me a prime opportunity to make a significant investment in an organization I value.” -Eric Rubio


elizabeth fu“I’m a part of an organization, All A-Board Alliance, that works to enhance associate boards and their members. These activities have challenged me in event organizing, social media, and speaking to members and groups. In working with my colleagues at All A-Board Alliance, I’ve learned a lot more about best practices on Twitter and different social media platforms to engage people.” -Elizabeth Fu



valerie moore“I have just started volunteering on the board of an amateur orchestra that I play with from time to time. They needed assistance with individual giving and figured it would be mutually beneficial. it is wonderful to collaborate with others and borrow ideas. There are great mentoring opportunities as well.” -Valerie Moore



rob gorman“I am running the Chicago Marathon for Team World Vision.  Professional development opportunities stretch far beyond conferences, trainings, and webinars. During my time running for Team World Vision, I have experienced benefits both personally and professionally. Developing and sticking to a running schedule has increased my discipline at home and at work. Additionally, I have gained technical skills through my fundraising efforts.” -Rob Gorman


Elizabeth Finlayson“My greatest involvement outside of work was participating in the board of Erasing the Distance, a non-profit that was being formed by a friend of mine, Brighid O’Shaughnessy.  As a fundraiser I am constantly asking busy people to give of their time, talents and money and had the opportunity to experience being on the other side of the table.” –Elizabeth Finlayson




Thank you to all the members who contributed to this post!